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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report for June 2007

VZCZCXYZ0012
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #2344/01 1902131
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 092131Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6094
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4851
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7446
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUL QUITO 1329
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF STATE AIR WING PATRICK AFB FL
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RHMFIUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-CI/G-M/G-OLE//
RUCOWCA/COMLANTAREA COGARD PORTSMOUTH VA
RUWDQAA/COMPACAREA COGARD ALAMEDA CA

UNCLAS LIMA 002344

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL/LP
STATE FOR WHA/PPC
ONDCP FOR LT COL RONALD GARNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM ASEC PREL PE
SUBJECT: NAS MONTHLY REPORT FOR JUNE 2007

REF: LIMA 2107

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (SBU) The key developments in June 2007:

** A total of 2,616 hectares of coca has now been eradicated
and 15,465 square meters of seedbeds have been eliminated.

** CORAH opened a second eradication front in Ucayali on June
12 until the end of July.

** An anti-drug prosecutor and 3 police were killed June 14
in a Sendero Luminoso-type ambush near Tocache.

** A senderista attack on the Santa Lucia base was narrowly
averted June 17.

** Ambassador Struble paid hommage to a fallen police officer
in the presence of his family at Ayacucho

** DIRANDRO destroys 29 cocaine-production laboratories; the
Road Interdiction Group seizes 3.7 MT ofprecursor chemicals.

** Police Program is recruiting for the pre-academies from
three local indigenous groups.

** Protests in Pucallpa led to closure of airport and
suspension of flights

** Security threats require helicopters to fly too many
hours, leading to serious maintenance backlog.

** SOPs and checklists used in Colombia are now being used by
NAS-Lima to adapt to the increased activity of the SL.

** The PNP find cocaine embedded in plastic sheets; air and
seaport seizures already surpass last year's record.

** Three thousand kids march on the Government Palace in
support of anti-drug programs and meet President Garcia.
END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- ---------
ERADICATION CONTINUES DESPITE BOMBS AND OTHER THREATS
--------------------------------------------- ---------
2. (U) As of June 30, CORAH had eradicated a total of 2,616
hectares of illegal coca and eliminated 15,465 square meters
of seedbeds. Eradication in Yanajanca will be completed by
early July. On June 9, seven IEDs were discovered by canines
and CORAH workers at the eradication site in Yanajanca. Five
were detonated, but two exploded, injuring five eradicators.
On June 13, 100 dynamite cartridges with 5 kg of nails (as
shrapnel) were found inside the eradication camp at Yanajanca
wired to explode--about 100 feet away from the workers (Ref
A).

3. (U) CORAH opened a second eradication front in Ucayali on
June 12 until the end of July. The bulk of CORAH operations
continue to focus on the Yanajanca area where 200 CORAH
workers are going out in each rotation, in contrast to
Ucayali where 60 workers are going out.

4. (SBU) Santa Lucia base of eradication operations narowly
averted an attack in the evening of June 17 when an explosive
device was detonated outside the perimeter fence, as a
diversionary tactic, apparently to cause confusion and
facilitate entry into the camp by Sendero Luminoso operatives
on the opposite side of the base by the river, where the
armory is situated. A CORAH worker at the gate apprehended
an entering suspect and DINOES and GOES reacted to repel the
impending attack. The apprehended suspect was questioned by
the police in front of a fiscal (attorney), and he gave
details about the planned attack. He remains in custody as a
terrorist suspect.

--------------------------------------------- -------
NARCO-TERRORISTS KILL 3 POLICE AND A PROSECUTOR
--------------------------------------------- -------
5. (U) An anti-drug prosecutor and 3 police were killed June
14 in a Sendero Luminoso-type ambush near Tocache (Ref A).
Two other police were seriously wounded. The police and
prosecutor had been engaged in interdicting a truck carrying
precursor chemicals for cocaine production. The killings are
the latest in a series of non-conventional attacks on police,
eradicators, and others involved in fighting drugs in the
zone. Two other police were seriously injured in the ambush.
They are a further sign that Sendero Luminoso is fully
integrated with narco-trafficking in the
Tocache/Yanajanca/Monzon areas and is determined to fight to
protect its base.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------

POLICE CONTINUE SEIZURES; INDIGENOUS POLICE CADETS RECRUITED
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
6. (U) As part of DIRANDRO's support for CORAH in Yanajanca,
it destroyed 29 cocaine-production laboratories and
neutralized over 2,700 kg of precursor chemicals. DIRANDRO
personnel based in Santa Lucia, along with the Peruvian Army,
conducted several operations based on intelligence, netting
seven laboratories in the Yanajanca area. Police personnel
from the Palma Pampa base in the VRAE destroyed 12
cocaine-production base laboratories this month. The
Ayacucho Road Interdiction Group has seized 3.7 MT of
precursor chemicals. In the first six months of this year,
10 MT of precursor chemicals have been seized by the
road-interdiction group.

7. (U) Data from DIRANDRO's official registry claims that to
date 241 cocaine-production laboratories and five cocaine-HCl
laboratories were destroyed, along with the seizure of 3.9 MT
of precursor chemicals, 2,676 kg of cocaine base and 4,009 kg
of cocaine HCl. In the VRAE coca-leaf-price per arroba is
the same as last month, 70 nuevo soles. In the Upper
Huallaga, the price per arroba is 80 nuevo soles, a slight
uptick from last month.

8. (U) An NGO, funded by the NAS Police Program, met with 35
representatives from 3 indigenous groups: Ashaninka,
Machiguenga, and Nomachiguenga. The workshop provided
information on the NAS-PNP pre-academies in Mazamari and
Ayacucho. The response of the participants was positive and
many parents applied to send their children (ages 17-18) to
the pre-academies. A NAS priority is to reach out to the
indigenous groups in the region to recruit new police
officers. Male and female officers drawn from the area are
more likely to serve in their own communities or region
rather than escaping to Lima or other cities. Also, a better
understanding by the PNP of the social and cultural mores of
the region should improve its effectiveness.

--------------------------------------------- ----
AMBASSADOR VISITS NAS/PNP BASIC TRAINING ACADEMY
--------------------------------------------- ----
9. (U) During a June 22 visit to the Ayacucho region with
Minister of Defense Alan Wagner and members of the Peruvian
congressional Commission on Defense and Narcotics, Ambassador
Struble reviewed and addressed the entering students at the
Ayacucho Academy. The Ambassador gave homage to PNP officer
Rolando Cisneros, of the first graduating class of this
Police Academy, who was assassinated by narcotraffickers on
June 13 at Llochegua, Huanta. Cisneros had been the star of
his class: on ten different occasions, he was National Kick
Boxing Champion and in 2005 he was the South American
Kickboxing Champion. Cisneros mother was present at the
ceremony.

--------------------------------------------- ----
NAS AVIATION ASSETS ARE STRETCHED TO THEIR LIMIT
--------------------------------------------- ----
10. (SBU) The increasing threat posed by remnants of the
Sendero Luminoso (SL) and cocaleros in the VRAE and the
Yanajanca area has pushed NAS to increase the UH-2 flying
hours, which has forced NAS aviation to operate at a level
above our scheduled monthly flying hour program. Therefore,
unscheduled and scheduled phased maintenance on our fleet are
at an all time high, making it difficult to sustain our CN
operations tempo. NAS has contacted the INL Air Wing for
assistance in coordinating with the contractor, DynCorp, to:
1) send a special phase-maintenance team to Peru to help with
the maintenance backlog, and 2) send four UH-2 replacement
engines or send a team to repair those in Peru.

11. (SBU) To compound the aviation maintenance problem, the
PNP's MI-17s normally used for eradication have been diverted
for transporting the Peruvian Army and CT police in their
pursuit of the SL. The lack of MI-17s has caused the UH-2s
to have a much heavier work load. One MI-17 can transport as
many police and eradicators in one load as four UH-2s, i.e.,
approximately 35-40 flight hours to insert and extract 1,000
eradicators and security police. The DIRAVPOL commander has
promised two MI-17s that have been recently overhauled by a
Russian firm in July.

12. (U) After a review of security measures at NAS Forward
Operating Locations (FOL) for U.S. personnel and helicopters,
the INL Air Wing noted the increase in the threat level in
Peru. As a result, the SOPs and checklists used in Colombia
were sent to NAS Lima and will be used as applicable to adapt
to the increased activity of the SL.

13. (SBU) The Peruvian Air Force C-26 program, supported by
NAS, continues to conduct reconnaissance and FLIR missions
over the sites where the eradicators and security have been
probed by SL. NAS believes that the overflights have
dissuaded several SL ambushes. Additional flight hours have
been funded for the C-26 program. One C-26 is in the U.S.
for modification to install a digital camera. In addition,
the FAP C-26s have become the aircraft of choice for
transporting President Garcia throughout Peru.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------
REGIONAL STRIKE IN PUCALLPA PUTS FIXED WING FLIGHTS ON HOLD
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
14. (SBU) An 'indefinite' general strike began June 26 in
the region of Pucallpa against the government decision
requiring workers to paythe same 19% IGV taxes paid
Peruvians west of the Andes. Thousands of people protested
in the streets and closed down all commercial activity, with
violent confrontations between the protestors and riot
police. Fixed wing flights into the NAS base halted, with
the exception of a NAS B1900 airlift of a wounded policeman.
Helicopter operations continued in support of eradication
operations, without incident. Helicopters on the ground were
moved off the ramp closer to the compound. Protestors
marched on the airport June 27 when they heard local workers
employed by NAS were continuing to work: they were stopped by
riot police before they could get to the NAS facilites. On
June 28, a large group of protestors again marched on the
airport, broke through the police and entered the adjacent
commercial airport where they burned tires on the runway and
vandalized runway lights, causing the airport to close down
and temporarily stranding 54 Amcits who were trying to leave.
The response from the Peruvian police was good:
NAS/DYNCORPS/PNP personnel, helicopters and facilities were
protected by an additional 60 riot police.

--------------------------------------------- --------------
MARITIME SEIZURES CLIMB WITH BETTER TRAINING AND TECHNOLOGY
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
15. (SBU) During the month of June, units supported by the
NAS Maritime Ports Program seized a total of 794 kg of
cocaine HCL, and 22 kg of cocaine paste at the Lima
International Airport, the Port of Callao, and along the
Ucayali River system in eastern Peru.

16. (SBU) Assisted by NAS and DEA, the PNP seized 500 kg of
cocaine HCL embedded in sheets of plastic as it was being
shipped from a laboratory in the working-class, San Juan de
Lurigancho district of Lima to a company in Callao where is
was to be placed in containers for shipment out of the Port
of Callao. Despite media reports that the "plasticized"
cocaine was bound for Spain, the destination is still under
investigation. The traffickers, headed by a Peruvian-Chinese
businessman, made a previous shipment to Hong Kong. Six
arrests have been made related to this case, including the
heads of this trafficking group in Peru.

17. (SBU) The Airport Interdiction Group (Peruvian Customs
and National Police) seized 250 kg of cocaine HCL leading to
49 arrests of people attempting to smuggle the drug in their
luggage or by swallowing it. Airport seizures are nearing
three MT in the first six months of this year. The body
x-ray scanner will be operating in the Lima airport by
mid-July, and we expect an increase in seizures and arrests
of swallowers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)
will be sending an expert in behavioral analysis from the
USCBP Passenger Analysis Unit (PAU) at the Miami
International Airport in mid-September. The expert will
provide a three-day exchange of information on Tactics,
Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) with Peruvian Customs to
improve airport interdiction operations and to ensure
effective use of the body x-ray scanner.

18. (SBU) The interdiction program at the Peruvian Post
Office (SERPOST) seized 24 kg of cocaine HCL this month.
USCBP will also be sending two experts on Post Office
Interdiction Operations in mid-September for a 3-day exchange
of information on (TTP) with Peruvian Customs.

19. (SBU) Joint Peruvian Navy and PNP boat patrols of ports
along the Ucayali River system are increasing. On June 10, a
boat patrol in the vicinity of Contamana, intercepted a
water-taxi and discovered 4 kg of cocaine paste. On June 21,
in the vicinity of Puerto Oriente, a boat was intercepted
with 18 kg of cocaine paste hidden in luggage and another 11
kg of cocaine HCL found in the boat, leading to six arrests.

-----------------------------
ILEA REGIONAL TRAINING CENTER
-----------------------------
20. (U) The ILEA regional training center in Lima hosted a
two-week course on Trafficking in Persons with law
enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges from Brazil,
Peru, Argentina and Uraguay starting June 18. ILEA has
agreed to fund a new course coordinator position attached to
NAS Lima. The positions's responsibilities will include
organizing course administration and logistics and
coordinating programs with the host government.

----------------------
ANTI-CRIME LAW PACKAGE
----------------------
21. (U) NAS met with the Vice Ministers of Interior and
Justice to discuss the package of laws now being considered
by the Garcia Administration. Among the issues discussed
were a stronger witness protection program, a non-penal asset
forfeiture law, stronger anti-corruption laws and the
inclusion of cash as a seizable asset. The Peruvian Congress
has authorized President Garcia to implement this crime
package without further consultation with Congress. We
expect the organized crime package will be announced in late
July.

--------------------------------------------- -------
YOUTH SPREAD MESSAGES ON UN DAY AGAINST DRUG ABUSE
--------------------------------------------- -------
22. (U) On June 26, the GOP, drug prevention NGOs, and
community anti-drug coalitions (CAC) marked the UN
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
with parades, fairs, and youth activities. For example,

-- Under the banner of "Healthy Students, Free of Drugs"
(Estudiantes Sanos, Libres de Drogas), 3,000 students marched
to the Government Palace to meet with President Garcia, who
gave an impassioned speech about youth, the future of Peru,
and the dangers of drug abuse. The parade was organized by
CEDRO, Peru's oldest (21 years) and largest drug prevention
NGO.
-- DEVIDA organized an event for students from schools
around Lima. The youth groups are part of a police program
to keep kids from using drugs.

-- One CAC organized the neighborhood to stop the frequent
all-night street parties fueled by booze and drugs by
enlisting the help of the police and municipal officials.
Another CAC organized a drug prevention fair where 64 schools
presented dances, skits, and songs as well as haircutting and
make-up lessons.
STRUBLE

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